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Djokovic & Federer book Cincinnati showdown

ESPN staff
August 18, 2012 « Froome & Contador make steady Vuelta start | Chartbeat test »
Novak Djokovic celebrates his victory © PA Photos
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Novak Djokovic remains on course for a first Cincinnati Masters title after exacting revenge on Juan Martin Del Potro for his London 2012 disappointment.

Djokovic was at his imperious best in Ohio, finishing the last-four clash still to lose his serve for the first time in the tournament having blown away his Argentine opponent, who beat him to the bronze medal at the Olympics, 6-3 6-2.

In truth the No. 2 seed, a three-time runner-up at the event, did not need to be at his best due to Del Potro's obvious struggles with a wrist injury. The sixth seed missed the majority of 2010 because of an injury to his right wrist, but it was discomfort with the left that saw him call for the trainer having been broken in the first set.

After clinching the opening set, Djokovic's refusal to give any points away without a fight led to errors from Del Potro's racket, the Serb breaking for a 2-1 advantage early in the second.

Del Potro had his moments, bringing up two break points when trailing 2-3, but a combination of smart serving and heroic defence saw Djokovic avert the danger.

The five-time grand slam champion, who is bidding for back-to-back titles after winning the Rogers Cup last week, then clicked through the gears to strengthen his grip on the match, breaking for a 5-2 cushion. And it was not long before Djokovic - the loser on the last two occasions the pair have met - booked a place in his fourth Cincinnati Masters final, closing out victory with an ace.

Next up for Djokovic is Roger Federer, who stretched his dominant record over fellow countryman Stanislas Wawrinka to 11-1 after securing a 7-6(4) 6-3 success.

Federer, yet to lose a set all week, failed to convert any of seven break points in the opening set, relying on a shift in gear to ensure the tiebreak went his way.

The top seed was made to work hard throughout the contest, but showed his class in the crucial moments to gain the upper hand. Two breaks of serve in the second set tell a different story, but Federer will have left the court knowing he had to produce some of his best tennis to extinguish Wawrinka's determined challenge.

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